By Chinenye Anuforo, Lagos
Executives of Honeywell Group Limited (HGL) – Oluwayemisi Busari, Senior Adviser, Government Relations; and Otu Hughes, Chief Investment Officer – joined over 600 notable leaders in public and private sectors for the 28th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES28) in Abuja.
The hybrid summit themed ‘2023 & Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity’ brought together stakeholders to articulate the country’s development imperatives that satisfy the need for economic security, social justice, conscientious governance, political and environmental sustainability, with the intentional prospect of drawing lessons to set the economic policy agenda for sustainable development.
Oluwayemisi Busari, responsible for steering the government relations efforts at HGL, and Otu Hughes, who leads the investment strategy for the firm, shared their thoughts with newsmen on the sidelines of the summit. They emphasised the importance of public-private sector collaboration, and the impact of forward-thinking economic policies as Nigeria approaches 2023 and beyond.
Speaking on macroeconomic stability for Nigeria, Otu Hughes said, “Businesses are hard hit by foreign exchange volatility. The government needs to cushion this volatility through insightful policies. Foreign exchange stability will help businesses in planning and decision-making.
“We have invested in the major sectors of the Nigerian economy, such as energy, technology, manufacturing, foods, real estate, infrastructure, and financial services. Our goal is to deliver value and improve lives”
A 2022 World Bank report suggests that Nigeria’s economy is projected to grow at an average of 3.2% in 2022-2024, albeit subject to downside risks, including further declines in oil production and heightened insecurity.
Furthermore, Oluwayemisi Busari spoke on the impact of public-private collaboration, and the role of transformational leadership in economic development. In her view, “The private and public sectors are like conjoined twins with a symbiotic relationship. Corporate organisations need the government as much as the government requires support from the private sector. We need to have more relevant policies for businesses, and corporate organisations need to invest in strengthening their relationships with the government by providing the right support.
“At Honeywell Group, we ensure that we work closely with the government to drive the economy. We believe in forming strong partnerships that will enable a positive impact. This goes to the core of who we are as a business.”
In his presidential address, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, stated that the country’s debt service to revenue ratio should be prioritised in the conversations of the summit. He stressed that the focus should be on productivity and value addition across all sectors of the economy. According to the Vice President, “We must free up our environment for business and create an enabling environment to make local and international trade easier.”
Speakers at the summit included Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, and Prince Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, among other high-profile speakers.